I love finding unique places to hike and don’t mind driving further or to another state to find it. My roadtrippin took me to NJ to a place called Baldpate Mountain. We drove to the entrance and it said you could park there and that there may be more spots up further. We decided to drive up the big hill rather than walk and were lucky enough to find a few parking spots up top. We walked through a building that looked like it was a great place for a wedding venue, then past a building with restrooms to a trail that had an old building and a fence. We walked through the fence and followed the “white” trail markers. The map online had several other trails to follow, but this was the trail I picked so we could see the old buildings, and or old estate. The path was nice, and you have to go off the path a bit once you see the first building to find all the other ones. I felt like Snowwhite.. there were cute cottages, a pond, wildflowers and ruins from a time long ago. We stopped on the porch in front of the pond for some water and some trail mix and just took it all in. We finished our hike up the trail and enjoyed the views of nature , a few squirrels and some great exercise. All that hiking makes one hungry and we were so lucky to see a sign for a Farmers Market on our way home, we followed the road to a beautiful farm called Gravity Hill Farm, after parking the jeep, we walked along the path filled with beautiful wild flowers, an outdoor pizza oven and picnic tables, and inside market filled with local yummies. The also host farm to table cooking classes. We ordered pizza s and enjoyed them along with some fresh cucumber /mint water on the patio overlooking the beautiful grounds and friendly people.
What a great day we were having and just when we thought we would head home, I see a sign up ahead for a Wildlife Preserve. You know I had to stop. The Mercer County Wildlife Preserve There was a path to the right of the parking lot where you could take a self guided tour through owls, hawks , crows and other birds. The path was generously filled with wildflowers, butterflies and the path was so nice. I loved saying hi to our fellow feathered friends, and seeing all the beauty in them. Most were rescued and are now taking up residence there due to broken wings, or unable to fly in the wild. The last of the birds on the path was a Bald Eagle and he was gorgeous. The nature center was a nice little treat to end the day, and the cost was free, other than a donation box outside where you could donate to the cause.
Finding something to do on a weekend or weekday is always just a drive somewhere new. I love exploring new places and finding hidden gems along the way.